With a little more than a week to go before the first race of the four-event 2017 Super Boat International regular season, the fleet for next weekend’s event Cocoa Beach, Fla., is looking solid in a couple of classes. First and foremost, the Superboat class currently has six teams—including defending 2016 world champion Performance Boat Center—on the entry list for the May 19-21 Thunder On Cocoa Beach event.
If the current entry list holds, the 2016 Superboat-class world championship Performance Center team of throttleman John Tomlinson and Myrick Coil will have five teams to beat to take the win at SBI’s season-opener in Cocoa Beach. Photos courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
But the real—and pleasant—surprise for the SBI season-opener is the seven-team fleet currently entered in the Superboat Vee class. Among those entries is defending 2016 world champion LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness team and class newcomers Mike Fosse and Billy Glueck in STIHL (read the story), a 30-foot Phantom rigged by fellow STIHL stable-mate Grant Bruggemann, who competes alongside teammate Jake Noble in the Superboat class.
Returning 2016 Unlimited-class world champions Rusty Rahm and Jeff Harris of the Wake Effects team will face a thin fleet in Cocoa Beach that—at least at this point—includes only Mike DeFrees and Gary Ballough in CRC/Sunlight Supply. New to the Unlimited-class ranks, the Rock Star team is on the Cocoa Beach roster—with a 46-foot Skater catamaran powered by twin 1,600-hp Sterling Performance engines listed—but is “unlikely to have everything ready in time” for next Sunday’s race, according to driver David Squier of Ocala, Fla. (Squier and teammate/throttleman Bruce Walter plan to step up this year from the Manufacturer Production P3 ranks, where they ran the GetRubberMulch.com team 35-foot Fountain V-bottom in 2016.)
“We are looking for a single large sponsor rather than several small sponsors,” said Squier. “We do have one company we are courting in that regard.”
The LSB/Hurricane of Awesomeness team of Britt Lilly and Ron Umlandt square off against six Superboat Vee-class teams next weekend.
Unlimited-class CMS teammates Bob Bull and Randy Scism remain uncommitted to running a full schedule this season. (They’ll run the Offshore Powerboat Association’s Lake Race on their home water—the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri—in June and the SBI World Championships in Key West, Fla., come November.) As for Miss GEICO, the team has committed to running next weekend’s Offshore Powerboat Association race in Point Pleasant, N.J., where they’ll reportedly square off against rival Alex And Ani.
“We weren’t sure if we’d have the boat ready in time for Cocoa Beach and we didn’t want to commit and then disappoint sponsors there by having to withdraw at the last minute,” said Marc Granet, the Miss GEICO team’s driver.
At present, three teams—Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller, Nicks Creative Services and Reliable Services Group—are signed up for the Stock class. Four Manufacturer Production 4-class teams—Team Raven, Two Cruel, Team Allen Lawn & Landscaping and Yabba Dabba Do—are on the Cocoa Beach roster, while there are two teams, 2nd Amendment USA and The Developer, entered in the Manufacturer Production 3-class ranks.
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